Earthwork Volume Calculation (Quantity Takeoff)


In this post we are going to discuss about various methods of volume calculation that can be adopted to find earthwork quantities. For various civil engineering projects like road work, irrigation canal project, tank survey, earth moving, etc., the calculation method used are different. Some of these methods were introduced before the invention of computers and are still being continued. This document discusses about the industry practices of various methods of volume calculation so that the readers can finally choose the right one for their project.

Earthworks
Earthworks are engineering works created through the moving and/or processing of massive quantities of soil or unformed rock. Earthwork is done to reconfigure the topography of a site to achieve the design levels. Earthwork involves cutting and filling to achieve the required topography.

Cutting: Cutting is the process of excavating earth material from a work location or borrow pits to achieve the desired topography.

Filling: The filling is the process of moving the excavated material or additional earth material to a work location to achieve the desired topography.

Applications of Earthwork: Typically, earthwork is done in the following projects:
  • Road works
  • Railways
  • Irrigation project such as canals and dams
  • Other common earthwork applications are land grading to reconfigure the topography of a site, or to stabilize slopes

Earthwork Calculation Methods: There are four popular methods of earthwork calculation which we will be discussing in this document
  • Section method
  • Average method
  • Division by Square method
  • Contour method
The first step involved in doing an earthwork calculation is surveying the site. By surveying, the site elevations of the existing earth at various points of the work site are determined. Further, all the calculations are done depending upon these values.

To understand Area and Volume Calculation completely you need to go through following Posts
  1. Data Preparation in Earthwork Projects
  2. Earthwork: Volume Calculation
  3. Earthwork: Volume Calculation: Section Method
  4. Earthwork: Volume Calculation: Section Method: Area Calculation: Trapezoidal Rule
  5. Earthwork: Volume Calculation: Section Method: Area Calculation: Nett area calculation
  6. Earthwork: Volume Calculation: Section Method: Area Calculation: Simpsons 1/3rd Rule
  7. Earthwork: Volume Calculation: Section Method: Area Calculation: Summary
  8. Earthwork: Volume Calculation: Section Method: 3 Volume Calculation Methods
  9. Earthwork: Volume Calculation: Average method
  10. Earthwork: Volume Calculation: Division of Square method
  11. Earthwork: Volume Calculation: Contour Method
  12. Earthwork: Volume Calculation: Summary

In the following Posts simple examples are taken so that the calculation can be done and verified within a reasonable time. Complex examples take a lot of time to solve and it is advised to use any software for such purposes.

Note the ESurvey Earthwork is one of the most popular Software for Earthwork Calculation in which Area and Volume can be generated with multiple options.
                                                                                                                                   Data Preparation